May 12, 2013

Bob Keyes: At the Maine College of Art, good things come in fives

(Continued from page 1)

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The “E” in the new Maine College of Art logo, with its five horizontal bars instead of the usual three, is symbolic of MECA on many levels.

Courtesy photo

For three days in February, a group of students, faculty and real-world experts gathered in Portland and hammered out concepts. They began by considering the school's mission and its place in Portland, then drew up ideas, first by hand and later on the computer.

They worked individually and in groups, and eventually came up with 10 solid ideas. "We put it all on the backs of the students," Melcher said.

Eventually, 10 ideas became six and six became two. The final two were then presented to the school.

Halverson said the process was instructive for everyone, most especially the students.

"By making it all happen in 72 hours without interruption, that's pretty close to the real world," she said. "This wasn't a semester-long class project. This was coming up with an idea, creating something from scratch and presenting it."

She's obviously pleased with the result.

"I like the logo very much," she said. "I think it's successful. It's visually memorable, and I think it's unique. It's memorable because it asks questions, and it includes multi-layers of meaning.

"I took to the abstract more than the emotional quality of it. It feels like a ladder in a way, and it's open on the right side, which means you can grow into the world. It has a lot of steps."

Raffi Der Simonian, director of marketing and communications for the college, is now tasked with getting the logo out into the world.

He's especially proud of the work of the students.

"It shows how much faith and trust we have in our students," Der Simonian said. "They have the skills and passion to execute a project of this scope and nature. It will serve them well in their careers." 

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or:

Twitter: pphbkeyes


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